65+ Fundraising Ideas That Will Rock Your Next Campaign

Fundraising Ideas

Share this article

When it comes to raising money for your cause, your nonprofit is always looking for new and inventive fundraising ideas that will excite your supporters.

After all, you can’t expect people to be inspired to donate if you’re always using the same old strategies.

If your team wants to add more fundraising ideas to your repertoire, you’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll review our favorite fundraising ideas for every nonprofit.

Check out our navigation tool to jump to our top fundraising ideas, as well as our favorite unique, cheap, and quick strategies.

Our Top Fundraising Ideas

1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

Peer-to-peer fundraising is our favorite fundraising idea because it channels the energy of your most dedicated supporters into fundraising action. A peer-to-peer fundraiser works like this:

  1. Your team empowers supporters to launch peer-to-peer fundraising pages on behalf of your cause.
  2. These volunteer fundraisers reach out to friends, family, and other community members by sharing their page on social media.
  3. Members of their networks donate to your cause through the volunteer’s fundraising page.

Why do we love peer-to-peer fundraising? Not only is it a great way to galvanize your most dedicated supporters, but it also brings your cause to people who don’t yet know who you are. This way, you’re growing your community while reaching your fundraising goals!

Take a look at Qgiv’s peer-to-peer fundraising software in action.

One top fundraising idea is hosting a walkathon for your cause.

2. Fundraising Letters

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

It’s no secret that effective donor communications are the heart of smart fundraising. With expert fundraising letter strategies, your team can take your donor communications to the next level.

Fundraising letters are one of our favorite tried-and-true fundraising ideas because they can be tailored to any kind of donor, nonprofit, or campaign.

In fact, you can customize fundraising letters to encourage supporters to:

  • Give to your online fundraising campaign. Just remember to include a link in the text of your letter!
  • Become a peer-to-peer fundraising volunteer. Be sure to walk them through the process step by step.
  • Attend your fundraising events. Everyone loves an official invitation to events, and you can use this letter to ask for a gift.

Remember, never take your supporters for grated (or let them think you do)!

Always begin any fundraising letter thanking them for their last gift and their continued support. Then you can launch into your solicitation, link out to your official fundraising page, or otherwise show them how to get involved.

Take a look at how Animal Heroes makes getting involved easy through their customized online giving page!

Another great fundraising idea is to include a link to your online giving page in your fundraising letters.

3. Walkathons

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$$

Popularity: 5/5

If you’ve been in the nonprofit world for any amount of time, you probably already know how effective walkathons can be as fundraising events.

However, did you know that you can take your walkathon game to the next level with intelligent fundraising tech solutions?

Check out these ways to boost your next walkathon with digital fundraising tools:

  • Tie your walkathon event in with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign as you count down to the big day.
  • Accept gifts on site at your walkathon using a mobile giving terminal, text-to-give, or a fundraising kiosk.
  • Launch an event page that supporters can visit before, during, and after the event to make a gift and register.

We love walkathons because they’re the perfect way to bring your online fundraising supporters and your in-person community members together. No matter your mission, consider hosting a walkathon for your next big fundraising event.

Take a look at how SPCA Florida leveraged Qgiv’s peer-to-peer fundraising platform to reach their goals!

See how the SPCA of Florida leveraged Qgiv's peer-to-peer fundraising platform as an effective fundraising idea.

Our Favorite Unique Fundraising Ideas

4. Bowl-a-Thons

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 3/5

Try one of our favorite unique fundraising ideas, hosting a bowl-a-thon.

Looking for a unique fundraising idea the whole family can get in on? Try a bowl-a-thon!

In a bowl-a-thon, volunteers register to play in your bowling tournament. Then, they call on their friends and family to make donations to the fundraising event in their name.

On the night of the event, you can rent out a local bowling alley for the challenge. Volunteer bowlers will play against one another in a good-natured competition.

At the event, you can even accept gifts from spectators as they cheer on their favorite bowlers for another fundraising boost.

Want to learn from the best? Check out how Bowl for Kids’ Sake put on an awesome bowl-a-thon for their cause.

5. Matching Gift Drive

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Promote matching gifts to supporters for an inexpensive fundraising idea with a high yield.

Did you know that approximately $10 billion in donations are left unaccessed every year simply due to the fact that donors don’t know about matching gifts?

Thousands of companies (from large multinationals to small businesses) have corporate giving programs that support matching gifts.

However, only 7% of matching gifts eligible donors know about these programs and successfully receive their gift match.

If your nonprofit wants an inexpensive fundraising solution, try holding a matching gifts drive. Simply encourage supporters to research their eligibility using a matching gifts database on your site.

Then, follow up with them periodically to ensure they’ve successfully matched their gift. Soon, you’ll see your fundraising progress start to grow exponentially!

6. Grownup Field Day

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 4/5

Try another unique fundraising idea, holding a grownup field day.

Let’s face it: even if some of us might not admit it, we all miss having field day every year as kids.

Why should the fun stop just because we’re all grown up? One of our favorite unique fundraising ideas is having a grownup field day!

This fundraising idea is exactly like it sounds. At these events, your nonprofit will set up fun outdoor games and challenges for adults to compete.

To raise money, your organization can charge for admission. Or, consider encouraging individuals to set up peer-to-peer fundraising pages and raise money leading up to the event.

Another way to raise money with a grownup field day is to have local businesses sponsor the event as a team building exercise for their employees.

Not only does this benefit your nonprofit’s fundraising goals, but it also offers these companies a way to give back to the community and strengthen their employee bonds.

7. Paint & Pour

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Invite supporters to a paint and pour event as one of your next fundraising ideas.

This one is another unique fundraising idea for adults. Have you ever heard of a paint and pour event?

At a paint and pour fundraising event, nonprofits open up an “art studio” at your headquarters and teach attendees how to paint a painting. Not only that, but you’ll also provide wine to your (21 and older) guests!

Whether they’re newcomers to your cause or long-time supporters, everyone will have a great time creating art and sipping on their favorite wine.

Your team can sell tickets to these events as your main fundraising revenue source. Alternatively, the event could be “donated” by a local paint and pour studio.

If you go with the second option, you might accept gifts at the event or call on attendees to raise money through their peer-to-peer fundraising page before it starts.

You could even have a peer-to-peer fundraising contest and offer a paint and pour party as a prize! Whoever raises the most funds for your campaign will be the lucky winner.

8. Paddle Race

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 3/5

Another unique fundraising idea is putting on a paddle race.

Another great fundraising event idea that really stands out is holding a paddle race.

Your whole community can get in on the fun by volunteering to jockey a paddle boat across your local lake during the big paddle race.

For extra fun, add a unique twist to the event by using funky or eccentric boats. For example, Lakeside Volunteers in Medicine chose swan-shaped boats for their paddle race.

In the weeks leading up to the big day, your volunteers will raise money for your cause through peer-to-peer fundraising pages.

Fundraisers can even host micro-events (like training days and boat building events) as a way to keep up the excitement before the official race.

9. Game Night

Fundraising Potential: ++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Invite supporters to a game night for a unique and fun fundraising idea.

One low-key fundraising idea your team can try is hosting a game night at your nonprofit’s headquarters!

Here’s how it works: first, your team will need to buy (our source from your own collections) an assortment of board games that are fun for the whole family.

Then, you’ll launch an event page and share it among your community. As people sign up, they can make a donation through that page as their price of attendance.

On the night of the event, members of your staff will help get groups set up with their favorite board games, as well as serve fun party food.

For an added twist, you can award prizes to the winners of the night’s games as an incentive for attendance. These can be small prizes like gift cards, or might be gifts donated by supporters.

Hosting a game night is sure to be a hit because everyone, young and old, loves a good board game!

10. Donate Your Hobby

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 4/5

Ask supporters to donate their hobby for a great interactive fundraising idea.

You already know how talented your community is, so why not put that talent to the test?

Try a donate your hobby fundraiser to raise money for your cause. In this kind of fundraiser, volunteers donate a service to your campaign, like piano lessons, carpentry, cooking, etc.

Then, other members of your community make a gift in order to have access to these hobbyists. On a first-come-first-served basis, donors get to pick whose service they’d like to have.

Another way to hold this fundraiser is as a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. In this case, the hobbyist runs the page and commits to performing a service for the highest donor.

We love donate your hobby fundraisers because they offer multiple ways to engage for supporters. If individuals aren’t able to make a monetary gift, they can always donate their talent.

Take your fundraising to the next level with our incredible Fundraising Bootcamp! These emails are chock full of the info you need to raise more funds. Join the Free Fundraising Bootcamp!

11. Reverse Raffle

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$$

Popularity: 4/5

Offer a reverse raffle at your next fundraising event as a unique fundraising idea.

Reverse raffles are a great fundraising event idea not only because they’re fun, but also because they add an exciting element of suspense to the traditional raffle format.

In a reverse raffle, your team will sell raffle tickets like a typical raffle fundraiser.

However, instead of drawing the winner at the end of the night, you’ll pull random tickets throughout the night.

Whoever’s ticket is left at the bottom of the bowl when the night is over is your big winner! If you want to spice this format up further, consider assigning random prizes to some of the ticket holders who you pull throughout the evening.

You can promote this event and sell tickets through your event fundraising page. Don’t forget to prominently advertise the grand price to add incentive to attend!

12. Chef’s Challenge

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $$$

Popularity: 4/5

Engage in a chef's challenge for a unique and yummy fundraising idea.

If you’re a big fan of cooking shows, this fundraising idea is for you! In a chef’s challenge, you’ll get your most food-savvy supporters together for a good old fashioned cook off.

Volunteers will serve as the evening’s chefs and cook delicious cuisine for attendees of the event. Then, when the meal is over, attendees will pay to vote for their favorite chef.

What’s great about a chef’s challenge is that it can stand on its own as a fundraising event or supplement another event and serve as the meal of the evening.

Consider getting a local restaurant to sponsor the fundraiser. Or, you can ask local food trucks to donate their vehicles for the evening. They get free publicity, and your chefs get kitchens.

13. Community Book Sale

Fundraising Potential: ++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Another powerful fundraising idea is hosting a community book sale.

Let’s face it: no matter how well read you are, everyone has a pile of books at home that they’re never going to read again or just won’t get around to reading in the first place.

Why not put these old books to use? In a community book sale fundraiser, volunteers donate old books that your nonprofit sells in a yard-sale style fundraiser.

You can charge just a dollar or two for each book, or charge people by the bag and let them fill their bags with however many books they can carry.

To process these payments, you can collect cash or accept money via fundraising kiosk or mobile giving terminal. This way, even cash-free people can get in on the fun.

14. Pet Day

Fundraising Potential: ++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Invite supporters to a pet day for one of your next fundraising ideas.

Want to get your whole community excited for your next event? Then host a pet day!

Basically, a pet day is just a fun social gathering in which community members get together with their pets for an afternoon of fun.

Be sure to cater the event with snacks for the humans and treats for the four-legged friends. At the event, attendees can make small donations on site using a mobile giving terminal or kiosk.

Your team can take this event to the next level by throwing it at the local animal shelter. Instead of bringing their own pets, attendees can pick out a furry friend to take home!

What’s great about pet days is that they can be held throughout the year, or even more frequently! Since they’re an inexpensive fundraising idea, this unique event is sure to be a hit.

15. Envelope Fundraiser

Fundraising Potential: ++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 3/5

One top fundraising idea is putting on an envelope fundraiser.

Have you ever tried an envelope fundraiser? This unique idea puts the power of fundraising into the hands of your supporters without putting too much pressure on them to give.

The way it works is that your nonprofit pins a number of empty envelopes to a bulletin board in a central location, like the heart of your town or at a local business.

Each envelope is labeled with a donation amount on it. When donors pass by the board, they can pick which donation amount they want to make.

These fundraisers are great for community-oriented organizations and can last as long as you need them to to reach your fundraising goals.

16. Swap Shop

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 3/5

Another effective fundraising idea is holding a swap shop.

Looking to get rid of the clutter you have laying around the house? So are your supporters!

Hosting a swap shop fundraiser is a great way to get your community together to give back to your cause since everyone will want to get in on the fun.

In this kind of fundraiser, your supporters will donate some gently used items they no longer have use for. Members of your team will then open up a “shop” with all of these items.

If someone wants to swap their item for another person’s they can buy a ticket to the shop. Or, if they don’t bring an item to the shop, you can charge them a little extra for their ticket.

At the end of the fundraiser, your supporters will have cleaned house and your nonprofit will have reached its goals! Now that’s a win-win.

17. Giving Days

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

Think about setting a giving day for your nonprofit as its next fundraising idea.

A giving day is essentially just as it sounds, but there are so many ways to leverage this unique fundraising idea for your cause.

When your nonprofit holds a giving day, you can launch an event page for a specific date you’ll use to heavily fundraise.

This date might have significance to your cause or be a big fundraising day in general, like #GivingTuesday.

In the weeks leading up to your giving day, promote the event through your email channels and on social media. Always be sure to link to your event page or online fundraising form!

For a peer-to-peer fundraising twist, you could even offer a reward to the individual who raises the most money on your giving day.

Learn everything you need to know about text-to-give with our awesome crash course. Raise more from mobile donors! Sign up today for the best intel on text giving!

18. Volunteer Grants

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Promoting volunteer grants is a unique fundraising idea for nonprofits.

You might have heard of a matching gifts fundraiser, but did you know that some companies offer a similar corporate giving incentive for volunteers?

A volunteer grant essentially rewards your supporters for giving their time to your cause. Different companies offer different grants for varying numbers of volunteer hours.

Try promoting volunteer grants to supporters through educational marketing. Many people don’t know these grants exist and might be more inspired to volunteer if they were aware.

Even better, volunteer grants are an excellent way for supporters to contribute even if they can’t make a monetary gift at the moment.

If you have a fundraising event coming up, try offering volunteer opportunities for the event (like setting up, counting tickets, etc.).

Then, once these individuals commit to volunteering, send them information on applying for their volunteer grant.

19. Geocaching

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 3/5

Consider geocaching as your next fundraising idea.

Have you ever heard of geocaching? This is a unique activity in which individuals go searching for secret items with GPS coordinates hidden in them.

Once they find the GPS coordinates, they’ll set out to find the next item. Eventually, they’ll reach the grand prize and win the treasure hunt!

You can adapt this into a fundraising event in a few ways. Consider selling tickets to a geocaching event. With their ticket, explorers will get the coordinates to the first item.

Another way to fundraise with this strategy is to have businesses sponsor each item. When a participant finds a new item, the business will make their gift,

Geocaching is a fun way to get your community to give back while also drumming up excitement for the treasure hunt. If your constituency has a knack for outdoor activities, this is sure to be a hit.

20. Matchmaker

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 4/5

Play matchmaker for your single supporters as your next fundraising idea.

No matter what kind of nonprofit you belong to, it’s more than likely that you have singles among your constituency looking for new ways to get out there and meet people.

For these supporters, try having a matchmaker fundraiser. You can sell tickets to a dating event and then pair the attendees based on their personalities and interests.

Think of this like an old-fashioned version of a dating website or app. If members of your community are tired of 21st century dating, this could be the change of pace they need.

Be sure to set up an event page for this activity and accept payments through it. You can share the link with single members of your community, or call on other community members to share it with their single friends and family.

21. Make the Grade

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Put on a make the grade fundraiser for a unique fundraising idea.

If your nonprofit is looking for family-friendly fundraising ideas, try out a make the grade fundraiser.

In these fundraisers, young people set certain academic goals for themselves that they’d like to achieve over the next semester or school year.

Then, their friends and family make pledges to their fundraising pages as a way to cheer them on. When they achieve their goals, the gifts will go to your cause.

These fundraisers work really well for students of all ages. However, for those under 18 they should partner with a parent to launch their fundraising page.

22. Ramen Cook Off

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Another delicious fundraising idea is holding a ramen cook off.

There’s nothing like a good cook off to bring your whole community together! While we’ve all heard of BBQ cook offs or chili cook offs, why not give a ramen cook off a try?

Ramen cook offs are a great fundraising idea since there are so many ways to cook this yummy dish. Depending on the cooking styles of your supporters, you never know what you’re going to get!

Participants can sign up on your fundraising page and pay an entrance fee. Set aside some funding for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize winners out of this revenue.

Alternatively, a local business can sponsor the grand prize as a way to get their name out to your community.

Another way to add a fundraising element to this challenge is to allow attendees to “donate” a vote. They can make a gift using text-to-give technology right from their seats.

23. Dog Walking Alliance

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Try starting a dog walking alliance as a unique fundraising idea.

This idea is an excellent way to incorporate an ongoing fundraising revenue stream into your nonprofit, especially if you’re focused on animal advocacy.

Do you ever feel bad about leaving your dog home alone all day when you’re gone for work or out for an event?

In a dog walking alliance, members offer up their services as a dog walker when other members will be out of town or away from their home.

To become a member, your nonprofit can charge a one-time or recurring donation to your cause. Then, you’ll connect different members with one another when they need the service.

Not only does this bring in revenue for your organization, but it also connects supporters with each other and strengthens your community.

24. Restaurant Night

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 4/5

Ask a local business to host a restaurant night as an effective fundraising idea.

Finding new ways to secure sponsorships from local businesses can be tough for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes.

For your next sponsorship, give a restaurant night a try. For this fundraising idea to work, you’ll need to find the right local restaurant to be your partner.

You’ll work together to pick a night (or a recurring evening) that works for both of your teams. Then, on that evening the restaurant will provide a percentage of their profits to your cause.

In return, your nonprofit will promote the restaurant night to your community. This way, you drum up business for them and they raise money for your nonprofit.

Master peer-to-peer fundraising by connecting with your incredible supporters -- that is, your P2Peeps! Download our free eBook to retain more peer-to-peer donors and fundraisers!

Our Favorite Cheap Fundraising Ideas

25. Polar Plunge

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

A fun (and cheap) fundraising idea is a polar plunge challenge.

For the brave of heart, participating in a polar plunge is one of the most exciting ways to give back to a good cause.

In these chilling events, nonprofits call on their peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers to commit to jumping into a frigid lake, river, or ocean when the volunteers reach their goals.

After the event, you can post fun videos and photos of the day on your social media feeds to get others interested in participating next time around.

These fun events are a great, low-cost way to get your whole community together while raising money. You can even pair polar plunges with charity auctions before the big dip to raise extra funds.

26. Give It Up Fundraiser

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

A give it up fundraiser is an inexpensive fundraising idea for your cause.

Even if we don’t like to admit it, nearly everyone has a bad habit that they just can’t kick.

This might be skipping your exercise routine, spending too much on eating out, not volunteering enough in the community, etc.

This is why give it up fundraisers work so well. All supporters need to do is launch a peer-to-peer fundraising page and commit to giving up their bad habit for a certain period of time.

Over the course of their campaign, they’ll update friends and family and ask for gifts to encourage them to stay on track with their goals.

At the end of the campaign, your volunteer fundraisers will have kicked their habit while raising money for your cause!

27. Garage Sale

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Another cheap fundraising idea is putting on a garage sale.

A great way to raise money for your nonprofit that doesn’t break the bank is garage sale fundraising.

Every so often (like once each season or a few times a year), your nonprofit can host a garage sale at your headquarters.

Like the swap shop idea, supporters will donate their gently used items to the sale. However, instead of selling tickets to the event and swapping items, this time individuals will directly purchase items from your team.

This way, if you don’t have items to donate you can still participate. Even better, this is a great way to boost fundraising revenue from outside of your core community.

Many people regularly shop at garage sales and will happily attend yours, especially when they know the proceeds go to a good cause.

28. Donate Your Big Day

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$$

Popularity: 4/5

Encourage supporters to donate their big day as a fundraising idea for your cause.

Whether it’s a big birthday, a graduation, or even a wedding, more and more individuals are opting to “donate their big day.”

With this unique fundraising idea, individuals ask for gifts to your nonprofit in lieu of presents.

In the weeks leading up to their milestone event, they launch a peer-to-peer fundraising page for your cause.

It takes a really special person to take on this fundraising challenge, but it can be a very successful fundraising strategy!

To promote this fundraising idea, your nonprofit can shine a spotlight on “big day donors” on your social media feeds as a way to show thanks.

This will both show those donors how much they mean to your organization as well as get people talking about donating their big days.

Is your nonprofit active on social media? With Facebook’s new “Donate Your Birthday” option, it’s easier than ever to make this fundraising idea work for your organization year-round. Just encourage your community members to donate their birthdays to your organization when their special day comes!

29. Penny Drive

Fundraising Potential: ++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Try a penny drive for your next cheap fundraising idea.

In essence, a penny drive is simply a fundraiser where supporters make their donations in pennies, not dollar bills or checks.

While this may seem counterintuitive, many more people will be willing to donate if they know that they’re just giving up whatever change they have laying around.

Your nonprofit can collect pennies a number of ways. For instance, you can ask local businesses to keep a penny jar and encourage customers to drop their extra change in it when they make a purchase.

Or, your team can host a fundraising event in which supporters fill a wheelbarrow with pennies. When the wheelbarrow is full, you’ll count your pennies and see if you’ve reached your goal!

We love penny drives because they’re an inexpensive way to quickly get people involved with your cause.

30. Pet Parade

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Conducting a pet parade is a cheap fundraising idea for all nonprofits.

It’s no surprise: your supporters love their furry friends, and what they love even more is finding new ways to incorporate them into how they give back to your cause.

For your next fundraising event, give a pet parade a try. Pet parades give supporters a chance to show off their dogs, cats, ferrets, and other animals in a small parade.

Participates can dress their pets up in cute outfits as part of the parade, making this fundraising idea a great fit for Halloween.

Your nonprofit can charge tickets to this event as your fundraising revenue source. After the parade, you might award small prizes to different pets for the best outfit, the most talented pet, or the cutest animal.

31. Crowdfunding

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Crowdfunding is a cheap fundraising idea what will help you reach your goals.

Crowdfunding is one of the most popular fundraising methods online, and it’s no secret why.

With crowdfunding, your nonprofit sets up a special fundraising page for a certain cause or a campaign. Usually, these are short-term fundraisers anchored by a big event.

Then, you call on supporters to share this fundraising page with their friends and family. As donations come rolling in, the campaign’s progress will be shown using a fundraising thermometer.

Crowdfunding isn’t just an effective way to reach your goals quickly: it’s cheap to get started with, too. All you need to do is find a great crowdfunding website or platform and launch your page!

32. Make a Snake

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Try a make a snake fundraiser, one of the most inexpensive fundraising ideas.

Make a snake fundraisers are a fun way to introduce some healthy competition into your fundraising efforts.

Here’s how they work: first, you’ll need to partner with two or more local businesses or municipal offices (like your library, police station, etc.).

Then, your partners will each outline a snake on the floor of their building in a central location. Over the course of the fundraiser, employees and visitors will make small gifts by tossing change into the snake.

Whoever fills the snake up first wins! Make a snake fundraisers work really well because they give people an immediate visual reminder of how close they are to reaching their goal.

Even better, since all you need to donate is your spare change, more people will be able to get in on the fun!

33. Battle of the Bands

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Hosting a battle of the bands is a cheap fundraising idea.

When it comes to hosting fundraising events, there’s no question that adding music to the mix is a surefire way to make the event more enjoyable.

This is why you should try hosting a battle of the bands fundraiser. In these events, your nonprofit hosts a battle of the bands between local musical acts.

Consider reaching out to local schools and universities as well, and ask if there are any up-and-coming performers! This event is a great way to both allow young people in your community to express their creative sides as well as get them involved in giving back through your organization.

Charge tickets to the events or an entree fee for participants. Then, at the event, you can also fundraise by selling concessions or holding a raffle.

Once the event is over, the winning band will get much-deserved exposure and your nonprofit will have reached its fundraising goals!

34. Tree Planting Day

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

An inexpensive and enjoyable fundraising idea is having a tree planting day.

Tree planting days are an eco-friendly fundraising event idea that your whole community is sure to love.

With these events, your nonprofit will commit to planting a certain number of trees that matches up with your fundraising goal (for example, 25 trees for $2,500).

When you reach your latest campaign’s fundraising goal, you’ll get together with community members and plant the trees at a local park, nature preserve, or school.

At the event itself, you can continue to fundraise by accepting on-site gifts or text-to-give donations.

For an added boost to your ROI, try to see if a local tree nursery would donate saplings to this event.

35. Guessing Game

Fundraising Potential: ++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Guessing games are a cheap fundraising idea for all kinds of nonprofits.

For a quick, cheap fundraising idea that will get your supporters excited to donate, set up guessing games across town. You’ll want to partner with local businesses or schools for this fundraising idea.

Guessing games can include filling a jar with jelly beans and encouraging people to guess how many are in the jar, or maybe even filling a tank with water and asking people to guess how many spoonfuls it would take to empty the tank.

When individuals make their guess, they’ll pay a small fee to enter the contest. Be sure to have a great prize ready for the winner!

By adding a competitive element to your fundraising efforts, you’ll encourage more people than ever to give back to your cause!

36. Recycling Drive

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Hosting a recycling drive is a cheap fundraising idea your supporters will love.

Even if your nonprofit isn’t environmentally-focused, you can bet that your supporters will be excited to give back through your recycling drive.

A recycling drive is an eco-friendly initiative that calls on your supporters to set recycling goals for their households over a certain period of time.

This might be as simple as remembering to recycle their paper products or as ambitious as going zero-waste for several weeks.

Whatever commitment they choose, your supporters will launch peer-to-peer fundraising pages and broadcast their goal to their networks.

Over the course of their campaign, they’ll ask friends and family to make donations. Once their goal is met, they’ll share the fact with their supporters and celebrate!

37. Movie Night

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Put on a movie night for your supporters as a cheap fundraising idea to raise money.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive idea for a fundraising event, why not give hosting a movie night a try?

Movie nights are fun and cheap fundraising ideas that bring your whole community together. All you need is a streaming service subscription and a projector!

On the night of the event, you can project the movie onto a wall at your headquarters. You’ll sell tickets to this event beforehand, and sell popcorn or other snacks to attendees before the movie starts.

Since so many people already have a streaming service subscription, finding the right movie for the event will be a breeze. You can even hold themed nights if you decide to host these regularly.

For example, on “Date Night” you can screen a romantic movie and on “Kids Night” you could screen the latest kids movie. With this level of versatility, movie nights are sure to be a returning hit in your community.

38. Shoe Drive

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Shoe drives are a dynamic and cheap fundraising idea.

Have you ever heard of shoe drive fundraising? This inexpensive fundraising idea is an effective way to quickly reach your goals while providing an affordable way to give back to supporters.

In a shoe drive fundraiser, individuals donate gently worn shoes to your nonprofit. When they make their gift, you’ll collect the shoes in a centrally-located receptacle.

As the shoes are donated, you’ll partner with a shoe drive fundraising platform like Funds2Orgs. They’ll pick up the shoes from your headquarters and then write you a check.

That’s it! You can pair a shoe drive fundraiser with all kinds of traditional fundraising ideas, like walkathons or galas.

Since nearly everyone (especially families) has extra shoes lying around they no longer need, holding a shoe drive fundraiser is a great way to make giving back easy for supporters.

39. Clothes Closet

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

For an affordable fundraising idea, host a clothes closet fundraiser.

Have you ever felt like you have a lot of clothes in your closet you never seem to wear?

Try holding a clothes closet fundraiser as a way to clean out your excess clothing and raise money at the same time.

In these fundraisers, supporters donate gently-worn clothes and accessories to your nonprofit. Then, your team will sell these clothes as a way to bring in fundraising revenue.

You can treat this as a traditional consignment sale or amplify it with smart fundraising solutions. For example, you can process payments using a giving kiosk or mobile giving terminal.

Because everyone seems to have a bunch of old clothes they can’t get rid of, you’re sure to find many volunteers to donate their clothes to your cause.

See how Qgiv can help you with your crowdfunding campaign. Request a demo today!

40. Teen Night

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Your nonprofit can hold a teen night as a cheap fundraising idea

Want an inexpensive way to encourage younger members of your community to get involved with your cause? Host a teen night!

Teen nights are essentially just gatherings for teens held at a local hangout spot like a restaurant, local park, or your nonprofit’s headquarters.

Charge attendees a nominal ticket fee and bring board games, karaoke machines, music, or other fun elements to get kids excited about the event.

Your young supporters will love having a fun way to get involved without breaking the bank, and their parents will be happy to know they have a safe, positive environment for socialization.

41. Lip Sync Contest

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Put on a lip sync contest as an inexpensive fundraising event idea.

If you’re looking for a silly (and affordable) fundraising event idea, look no further than a lip sync contest!

In a lip sync contest, participants will lip sync to their favorite songs while performing a choreographed dance.

During the contest, you can accept donations as a way to vote. Simply enable text-to-give donations to empower attendees to vote right from their seats in the audience.

At the end of the contest, you can award prizes for the overall winner, best dancer, best costume, best hair, and other superlatives!

For an even biggest boost to your ROI, see if a local bar will let you use their venue. If they have a stage and a microphone, that will come in handy for the big night.

42. Email Campaigns

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Try an email campaign as a cheap fundraising idea for your cause.

If your nonprofit doesn’t already leverage email as a core fundraising tool, you’re surely missing out.

By linking to your fundraising and event pages through email communications with donors, you’re able to provide them with an easy-to-use way to get involved with your cause.

Simply add links to your latest campaigns and upcoming events to your weekly newsletter, stewardship emails, event invitations, and more.

Be sure that what you’re linking to is relevant to the email’s content and the segment of supporters you’re connecting with.

That way, you can trust that whoever does click on these email links will be inclined to keep engaging with your cause and not mark your emails as spam.

43. Recurring Gifts

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Add a recurring gifts option to your giving forms as an inexpensive fundraising idea.

Another simple way to boost your fundraising revenue is to promote recurring gifts to your supporters.

Many of your donors will be happy to set up a no-fuss recurring gift subscription to your cause. Simply add an opt-in box to your online fundraising form to make the process as easy as possible.

Donors can set the amount and frequency of their recurring gifts and are able to cancel the subscription at any time if they’re no longer able to give.

Your team can add this option to all of your mobile and online fundraising methods, including on-site giving through kiosks and mobile payment terminals.

This way, even after your latest campaign ends you’ll still build up fundraising revenue through supporters’ gifts.

44. Social Media Spotlight

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Spotlight high-performing fundraisers on your social media pages as an inexpensive idea to boost fundraising.

One cheap way to raise money for your cause is to leverage your social media platform to promote high-performing peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers.

By promoting these dedicated individuals, you’ll both encourage those specific fundraisers to keep working hard while promoting your peer-to-peer fundraising pages to others.

For example, your team could post a video with your top-performing peer-to-peer fundraiser asking them why they are so dedicated to your cause and thanking them for their efforts.

Then, when this video is shared with your followers and the volunteer’s own personal network, you’ll show other potential fundraisers how impactful they can be to your cause.

Since all this takes is having a social media platform, shining the spotlight on your most effective volunteers proves itself to be effective and affordable.

45. Cute Kid Challenge

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Another cheap fundraising idea is holding a cute kid challenge.

Here’s an online contest idea your supporters are bound to love. For your next fundraiser, hold a cute kid challenge!

Cute kid challenges are really easy to get started. Simply call on your dedicated base of peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers to launch campaign pages.

Then, they’ll post photos of themselves as kids or of their own cute kids. Next, they’ll ask their networks to give as a “vote” for their pages.

Whoever receives the most votes for the best cute kid pictures will win! Award these stand-out fundraisers a special prize for their efforts as an added incentive.

46. $20 Turn Around

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Try one of our favorite cheap fundraising ideas, the $20 turn around challenge.

Do you ever watch home design shows? This next inexpensive fundraising idea is inspired by some of our favorite home improvement programs.

In these fundraisers, you give participants $20 to get started. They’ll then purchase an item from a flea market and “flip it” into something really special.

After they give their item a makeover, they’ll sell it for a profit. The profit then goes directly to your team’s fundraising goal.

These are a really fun idea for creative communities and have the potential to raise a lot of money for your cause with minimal upfront cost!

Our Favorite Quick Fundraising Ideas

47. Text Giving

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

Try text giving if you're looking for a quick fundraising idea for your cause.

Finding a quick and intuitive way for supporters to give to your cause is as easy as investing in a text-to-give fundraising platform.

Text giving is a really convenient way for supporters to contribute. All they need to do is text your pre-determined fundraising phone number and follow the prompts.

They’ll be sent a link to a mobile-optimized giving form so they can enter their credit card information and details of their gift.

In just a few minutes, they’ll have made a gift right from their phone! Since nearly everyone has their smartphone on hand all day long, you’ll be able to reach potential donors wherever they already are.

48. Coffee Donations

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Ask for coffee donations as a quick and easy fundraising idea.

In most offices, employers offer their employees free coffee throughout the day.

A quick way to raise funds is to recruit businesses to place a donation jar by their free coffee. Then, employees have the option of making a small gift every time they grab a coffee.

Not only does this build a steady revenue source for your nonprofit, but it also introduces new people to your cause.

As an added incentive to donors, you can commit to treating participating offices to a round of premium coffee once you reach your fundraising goal.

Alternatively, you can have offices compete against one another to reach your goal the fastest. At the end of the contest, you can award the winning office a gift card to a local coffee house.

49. Challenge Grants

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Try securing a challenge grant as a quick fundraising idea for your cause.

Did you know that some companies and large organizations offer challenge grants to nonprofits like yours?

Challenge grants are essentially donations contingent upon reaching some sort of goal. For example, a company might offer to match your fundraising goal if you raise $10,000 over the course of a campaign.

Many businesses set aside a portion of their budgets to corporate philanthropy initiatives like these, so the money is already there! All you need to do is find the right partner to access it.

Often, these partnerships will require promoting the business at your fundraising events or on your social media pages, so be sure to pick a challenge grant sponsor who is aligned with your mission.

Take your fundraising to the next level with our incredible Fundraising Bootcamp! These emails are chock full of the info you need to raise more funds. Join the Free Fundraising Bootcamp!

50. Personalized Ask

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Quickly raise money by personalizing all of your donation asks.

One of the most effective ways to secure a gift from a supporter is to personalize your ask!

While this may seem pretty intuitive, all too often nonprofits send out generic donation requests that fail to capture the attention of supporters.

When you make an ask, whether online or in-person, be sure to center the individual supporter at the heart of your request.

Always thank them up front for their continued support and then ask them for the gift. When you send out email requests for giving, be sure to include their name in the subject line to stand out.

This best practice can quickly convert supporters into donors and is a great way to secure immediate, spur-of-the-moment donations.

51. Money & Date Fundraisers

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Do a money and date fundraiser as a fast fundraising idea.

Money and date fundraisers are a really popular fundraising idea, and for good reason! These challenges turn quick fundraising results and are a great way to energize supporters.

In a money and date fundraiser, your nonprofit picks day and asks supporters to donate in a sum that matches the numerical value of the fundraising date.

For example, for a Cinco de Mayo fundraiser donors could give gifts of $5.50. This way, festive donors have the opportunity to make small (but impactful) donations to your cause.

What’s great about a money and date fundraiser is that you can scale it as large as your fundraising needs and hold them whenever works best for your nonprofit.

52. Online Donation Drive

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

Hold an online donation drive as a quick fundraising method.

Without a doubt, there’s nothing more convenient for donors than online giving. For your next big fundraising campaign, be sure to hold an online donation drive!

In an online donation drive, you’ll promote gifts through online giving channels like your online donation page and your peer-to-peer fundraising pages.

Not only are these pages designed to raise money, but they’re a great way to introduce your supporters to the many different online giving tools at their disposal.

Once they know the many quick ways they can give online, they’ll be more inclined to make future gifts!

To boost the success of these drives, try offering incentives and prizes to donors as they reach different benchmarks to your goal.

53. Straw Draw

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Another fun and quick fundraising idea is holding a straw draw.

Straw draws are a great way to build awareness for your cause while quickly boosting your fundraising revenue.

In a straw draw, you’ll attach different prizes to the bottoms of random bendy straws. Then, participants will randomly select a straw.

All of the straws should have a prize attached, but not all of your prizes need to be equal. See if local businesses will donate gift cards or products to the fundraiser.

Participants can enter the drawing by purchasing a ticket to your straw draw event. You can pair a straw draw with a larger fundraising event or hold it on its own.

Bring this fundraiser to the next level by offering different drawings with different types of prizes. This way, participants will be more excited to enter specialty drawings.

54. Honor a Special Someone

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Let fundraisers honor a special someone as a quick fundraising idea.

One (often overlooked) fundraising idea is to encourage supporters to open up fundraising pages in memory or in honor of a loved one.

For example, an individual might start a fundraising page in the name of a deceased family member, or they could honor someone in their life battling an illness.

Instead of fundraising for an ongoing campaign, they’ll solicit gifts for their own peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in moral support of their loved one.

Everyone has someone in their lives they’d like to honor, and encouraging these kinds of fundraisers is a great way to get more individuals involved with your cause.

55. Serve-a-Thon

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 3/5

Challenge supporters to a serve-a-thon as a quick fundraising idea.

In a serve-a-thon fundraiser, your nonprofit’s staff and supporters will get together to take on a volunteer project to benefit your community.

Before the event, you’ll partner with a local business to sponsor your efforts. Alternatively, participants will launch peer-to-peer fundraising pages and encourage their networks to donate.

Your team might pick up trash, clean up a park, build housing, or take on a similar public works project that benefits everyone in your area.

If you reach the volunteer project’s goals, your nonprofit will receive the money. With this fundraising method, you’ll both gain donations and positively impact your community.

56. Gamification

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

Try gamification to raise money for your cause faster.

In this post, we’ve already reviewed how online fundraising solutions can be effective tools in reaching your goals.

Looking for a way to boost the results of your online fundraising forms and peer-to-peer fundraising pages? Incorporate gamification tools into the mix!

Gamification tools comprise elements like fundraising thermometers, badges, and leaderboards that add a healthy element of competition and excitement to your fundraising campaigns.

When donors interact with gamification tools, they’re more inclined to give to your cause and share your campaigns with their personal networks.

For peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns especially, ranking volunteer fundraisers encourages them to amp up their fundraising efforts to secure their positions as top fundraisers.

57. Day Off Pay Off

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Try a day off pay off challenge as your next quick fundraising idea.

If you’ve never heard of a day off pay off, they’re sure to be your supporters’ favorite new fundraising idea.

For this strategy to work, you’ll need to find a campaign sponsor like a local business who is inspired by your nonprofit’s mission.

Then, the business will encourage its employees to start peer-to-peer fundraising pages on behalf of your organization.

When the employees reach a predetermined fundraising goal, their employer will add an extra vacation day (or two) to their paid time off balance.

Since everyone loves having a little extra time off for themselves, they’ll be really excited to participate in this kind of fundraising campaign!

Learn everything you need to know about text-to-give with our awesome crash course. Raise more from mobile donors! Sign up today for the best intel on text giving!

58. Front Row Tickets

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$$

Popularity: 4/5

Offer up front row tickets as a fast fundraising idea.

Whether it’s a great concert coming into town or the latest play, there’s bound to be a popular show of some kind that’s tough to get into.

This makes tickets to these shows a hot commodity, and an even hotter fundraising incentive.

For your next fundraiser, consider offering front row tickets to a popular show as a prize for your top fundraiser.

To make this kind of incentive work, you’ll need to have team members ready to purchase the sought-after tickets as soon as they go online.

Then, once you have the tickets ready, start promoting this fundraiser to your peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers. In no time, they’ll start ramping up their efforts!

59. Daily Online Auction

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

Another quick fundraising idea is hosting a daily online auction.

Another way to amp up spontaneous donations from your supporters is to hold daily online auctions on your social media pages.

Participants can place their bids and then the winner will fulfil their pledge after receiving their gift. Your team can auction off small prizes or donated gifts to keep costs down.

Since there will be a new prize every day, your supporters will stay posted for auction updates to find out if they want to participate that day.

For newcomers to your organization, participating in an online auction can be a great introduction to your cause and help grow your community of supporters.

60. Ice Cream Social

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

Another quick (and fun) fundraising idea is to host an ice cream social.

Everybody loves ice cream, especially your donors! This makes an ice cream social the perfect fit for your next fundraising event.

Ice cream socials work well because they take little planning but yield dramatic fundraising results. All your team needs to do is purchase a variety of flavors and toppings to get started.

Invite your supporters to the ice cream social event and charge a small ticket price for admittance. Even better, have supporters invite friends and family to join them.

For an added fundraising boost, call on a local ice cream shop to sponsor the event and provide free ice cream supplies.

You can even frame your ice cream social as a reward for peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers as a way to incentivize them to reach their fundraising goals.

61. Sponsor a Foster Pet

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

Help animals in need by trying foster pet sponsorship as your next quick fundraising idea.

Whether your nonprofit is an animal advocacy organization or another kind of nonprofit, your supporters are bound to feel passionate about animals.

Consider launching a fundraiser that puts animal welfare at the heart of your efforts. In a sponsor a foster pet fundraiser, you’ll pick recently fostered pets through a partnership with the local animal shelter.

Then, you’ll spotlight this pet over the course of a campaign. You can post about their history, their likes and dislikes, and otherwise help your supporters get to know the animal in the hopes that one of your supporters will adopt them.

At the end of the campaign, you’ll split the funds raised between your cause, the animal shelter, and the foster home of the pet. This way, everyone involved benefits!

This pet-focused fundraiser is a great way to encourage gifts from supporters who are moved by the pet’s story. Better yet, this can become a regular fixture of your fundraising efforts.

62. Fundraise-a-Thon

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 4/5

Hold a fundraise-a-thon in your community to raise money quickly.

A fundraise-a-thon is a form of peer-to-peer fundraising that calls on local businesses to go all out for your cause.

In this kind of fundraiser, local businesses set up peer-to-peer fundraising pages for your nonprofit.

Then, over the course of the campaign, they’ll compete to outrank one another as your top fundraiser. When the fundraising goal is reached, you’ll crown the best performing business the winner!

Essentially, a fundraise-a-thon is an opportunity for a local business to get their name out there and build a reputation as a philanthropically-minded company. So, both your nonprofit and the company stand to benefit.

Master peer-to-peer fundraising by connecting with your incredible supporters -- that is, your P2Peeps! Download our free eBook to retain more peer-to-peer donors and fundraisers!

63. Balloon Raffle

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 4/5

A favorite quick fundraising idea is a balloon raffle.

Balloon raffles are a fun and convenient fundraising idea that works perfectly for all kinds of fundraising events.

In a balloon raffle, members of your team will place raffle tickets inside of balloons. Event attendees will then pay a small fee to purchase their balloon and the ticket inside.

To raise even more money, consider putting different numbers of tickets in different colored balloons: one ticket in red, two tickets in blue, three tickets in green, and so on. This way, you can raise more money by selling certain colors, and participants can increase their chances of winning if they really want that prize!

Once they have their balloon, they’ll be able to pop it to access their ticket. At the end of the evening you’ll call the winning raffle ticket and they’ll find out if they won.

For an added fun element, try synchronizing when you pop your balloons! This form of raffle is a great way to get your whole community in on the fun together.

64. Giving Kiosks

Fundraising Potential: +++++

Cost: $$

Popularity: 5/5

A really quick fundraising idea is using a giving kiosk.

We’ve already talked a little about giving kiosks, but it’s worth reviewing these effective fundraising tools in more detail.

A giving kiosk is a device that displays your online fundraising form and accepts payments by swiping a supporter’s card.

Nonprofits can use these at fundraising events as a quick way to accept gifts without hassle. Supporters will love to have the choice to give so conveniently, especially those who are unable to donate via text giving.

Even better, you can keep a giving kiosk at your nonprofit’s headquarters to accept spontaneous gifts from visitors who are inspired to make a donation.

65. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Bingo

Fundraising Potential: ++++

Cost: $

Popularity: 5/5

A quick fundraising idea your peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers will love is adding bingo to the mix.

One of the reasons why peer-to-peer fundraising is so effective is that your volunteer fundraisers act as one another’s biggest motivators.

Consider launching a bingo fundraising game among your peer-to-peer fundraisers to give them the extra boost they need to reach their goals.

When fundraisers reach certain milestones (like “X donations received” and “$X raised”), they can mark off a spot on a bingo card.

Whoever reaches BINGO first wins! You can offer a fun prize like a gift card or a t-shirt with your nonprofit’s logo on it.

When their personal networks see this fun element of peer-to-peer fundraising, they’ll be inspired to raise money for your cause, too.

66. Pennies from Heaven

Fundraising Potential: +++

Cost: $

Popularity: 3/5

Try a pennies from heaven fundraiser as a quick fundraising idea.

This classic fundraising idea can still make a splash at your next fundraising event: pennies from heaven.

In a pennies from heaven fundraising game, a volunteer will stand with an upturned umbrella. Then, event attendees will toss pennies into the umbrella throughout the event.

When the umbrella finally gives way under the weight of the pennies, you’ve reached your goal! Not only is this idea fun for your supporters, but it’s truly east to set up and manage.

For an added fundraising incentive, offer a prize to the donor whose contribution breaks the umbrella. This will encourage donors to give as fast as possible as well as to give multiple times so they can have a better chance to win the game.

Additional Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Resources

Sign up for Fundraising Bootcamp for incredible insights that can help you raise more!